h3l spring king 1

Anyone who has followed this blog for more than a year can remember how smoking hot things were one year ago. With above-average water conditions through mid-summer last year……we put a banner year up on the site. 2011 has been quite different. Most anglers that I talk to this calendar year are at about 10% of where they were one year ago.

I had gotten comfortable with the fact I could do no wrong on a river with personal record catch rates hovering over my head like an angling halo. Everything does indeed change though, doesn’t it? It sure did for me, anyway. And certainly not for the better. Unless glaring humility served up on a cheap, wicker tv dinner tray is you idea of ‘sweet’. It’s not mine.

Between all the unpredictability the last 6 months have given us….the end result for me has been an epic shooting slump….much like a flailing, fledgling basketball player that can’t find the bottom of the hoop to save their lives no matter how open the shot becomes. (Maybe we should call skunk streaks…”The Rudies”…..as in “I’ve got a bad case of the Rudies”).

This skunk streak for me, before yesterday, had extended itself to a very nasty 10 trips where my only boast had become the empty production and the increasing length of my own little fishing nightmare.

Everything changed for me yesterday. During a day when ‘good fishing’ was the furthest phrase uttered from any anglers lips…I instead decided to audibly utter an imparted Croatian phrase I learned when visiting Europe a few years ago. Offering a humble ultimatum for the Fish Gods and the Universe on which to grade me upon.

I’ve passed this anecdote along to a few Allaroundanglers close to me who have also found it to assist them in the provision of success where, in many cases, there hasn’t been for some time. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to ‘throw everything out there’ and just fish; Not worry about the rod going down. Not stressing over empty pass after empty pass. Keeping it simple and putting in your time…..enjoying the now. Following your intuition where ever it may lead you to.

Yesterday, my intuition lead me to the front of the boat to stretch my legs, learn a little about the Detroit Lions from a buddy & simply put myself in the right place at the right time. During a day when only a few fish were reported for hundreds of boats on a spring fling hungry for a piece of the staggering BVille dam pass numbers….I simply managed to have the right hunch and some due luck.

After offering my afforementioned ‘fish prayer’ and leaving my back rod for a stroll to the front of the boat….I posted up next to the vacant rod at the very bow of the boat. This was the lone hardware rod hanging over the side of the boat……sporting a chartreuse, hoochie-skirted GDF trolling spinner…as all the other four rods were doctored with a deadly green herring & matching flasher rig.

I wasn’t even thinking about the rod going over. I had stared a hole right into the tip of the LAMI XCF 904 that I was using on a one-day guided consignment….thanks to Sal and his connections. No, I was only thinking about how to talk football to a knowledgable sports fan from Detroit. Either way; a removed mind or a real hot spinner…or both. It all works for me.

In a split second during the two minutes I stood in the front of the boat the vacant spinner rod began to dance and finally bury. I watched the rod tip dive to the surface of the river like a championship swim meet diver launching head first off the starting block. I picked it up, hammered it and landed it quite swifty. 20# hen spring chinook. Susan B Anthony-nickel.

There was no time for video or for f***ing around trying to document the moment. That would come once I retrieved this this beautiful salmon from it’s cold, murky safe haven of river. After all, I was trying to thaw the ice off my rod. Which I was able to accomplish if only for a reprieve. I am good with that. No problem. Especially considering the sharp, gripping claw of the treble hook gave way to open space no sooner than the net was slid in underneath it’s chrome bright belly. Suicide fish? Nah. Just the right time for the ice to thaw on the rod in my grips.

Special thanks to Sal Monid, Ron “The Crusher” Ochs, Motor City Scott & Professional Guide Tom Burgess for the laughs, experience & unparalleled professionalism.

And to the Fish Gods and the Universe who obliged me yesterday…..I am grateful for a fish if the Universe see’s fit.

Lamiglas XCF 904 w/ Shimano Tekota 500LC….spooled with 65# green Power Pro

(Left to Right) Sal, Motor City & The Crusher

Scenic 2


  1. fishsauce says:

    Sweet write-up Hellcat, made for a good read. Way to thaw out the rod after the cold winter we had.


  2. Jim Ravelli says:

    Chris, Glad to hear you finally got the stink off and can resume your fishing success! This was a great article and commentary. I do agree, this year has stunk so far but my undying hope is that better days are ahead…..This has inspired me to go out and give Springers another shot. Fingers are crossed that I can finally lure one into the boat!

    Be good and thanks again for the words…..


  3. Tow Truck says:

    Hell ya Hellcat!!! U deserve much love.. And the fish gods finally rewarded u. Thxs again for all u share with us anglers. Get me in on the next trip.. PLEASE!! Luv ya like a brother….

  4. Hellcat says:

    Thanks you guys very much for your comments. This goes to show that it’s not just movies that you guys like about the site. I plan on trying to write more as content has stretched thin this year. Thanks again.


  5. Kirby says:

    Oh hell yeah Chris nice chrome beast

  6. Commander says:

    Nice fish buddy!

  7. Steve G aka The Hustler says:

    Congrats Chris! Bling freakin bling! That is a beautiful fish and is going to taste so nice. Nice choice of words to tell your story. You are a man of the keyboard!

  8. Auntie says:

    Been a while since I spent any time on the site but what a great story to read upon my return! I really miss you guys! It’s a blistering 54 degrees here with sunny skies and the Kings should be showing up here as well. I may not get a chance to play with one, hell I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even have my fishing license yet this year! But days like this really get the itch going. Nice post Hellcat, I’ll be in touch. By the way, f***ing beautiful fish you dog. You deserve it!

  9. daheller says:

    You earned that beauty. Nice going. Sal

  10. Donaca says:

    Looks like you had the luck of the Irish on your side. Nice chroma and great narrative.

  11. Hellcat says:

    You guys are great for all the comments here. Thanks!

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